As mentioned in the previous post, the LBBG has returned to nest again this year. However, he’s with a new lady friend.
We know that he and his former mate were together in 2008 and 2009 (possibly 2007 as well, but she wasn’t banded that year). We have no idea what happened to this previous mate – it’s possible that she died during the winter or that they “separated.”
Interestingly, this year’s efforts at nesting have been quite delayed compared to the previous years. We observed copulation during the week of May 24th, but no egg was observed until June 4. In contrast, there were two eggs in the nest by May 29, 2007 when we originally found the LBBG. There were also two eggs in the nest by May 21, 2008 and three eggs by May 25, 2009. Moreover, only one egg was laid this year.
We attempted to capture and band the new Herring Gull mate today, but were unsuccessful. Another attempt will be made this week. In spite of having only one egg, the LBBG very aggressively defended his nest when we approached it this morning. His new mate, in contrast, exhibited very little defensive behavior and was very reluctant to approach the nest with the trap over it. Hopefully, we’ll have better luck later this week!